There are days I lament the passing of Ford's very serious muscle truck, the Lightning. SVT's supercharged F-150 could spark up a smile as easily as it melted through tire tread. Since it's demise, tamer, more stylish editions have filled the gap. The latest to visit the Truck Trend garage is the 2008 F-150 Foose Edition. It's two-tone treatment and refined styling cues set it apart from the monochromatic Roush and Saleen offerings. Foose's design uses a silver and red over black graphic treatment to complement the new body kit. The absence of the traditional non-functional hood scoop is immediately apparent. Foose penned a tight yet aggressive front clip that incorporates Silverado SS-style air inlets in the lower fascia. The billet grille inserts are subdued and tasteful. The custom 22-in. forged wheels speak a little louder to its performance oriented nature. As on all F-150 special editions, there are plenty of visual reminders, decals and plaques, about whose package this is. On the tailgate the sweeping silver graphics converge around the blue oval in the center. Twin chrome-tipped tail pipes are nestled neatly into the lower rear fascia.
On the inside, the bolstered black leather buckets are plush and comfortable. The rear sensing system includes a back-up camera. The screen appears on the left section of the rear view mirror. When not in use, the mirror appears like any other mirror. The Audiophile Sound System gets loud enough to drive my kids nuts--priceless. After searching fruitlessly for the AUX plug somewhere on the center stack, I located it in the tray on top of the dash--not the most convenient location. No nav. The lack of a Nav system in any vehicle, let alone a limited edition hauler, is unfortunate.
The Roush-supercharged 5.4L Triton V-8 boasts 450 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque that winds its way through the standard 4-speed O/D auto trans to the 3.73 limited-slip rear axle. On an extended weekend blast up and down the nearly deserted freeways of Southern California, the Foose was impressive. The ride was firm, but smooth, with the onslaught of thumping concrete expansion joints sending the suspension into a minor oscillation. The sport suspension glided over speed-bumps on the local roads and telegraphed good feedback through the steering wheel during cornering in the mountain passes.
This example is the most responsive of the new edition F-150s we've driven. A gradual tip-in makes it easy to manipulate the power output while keeping an eye on the gas gauge. Staying entirely out of the supercharger is impossible though. The transition is seamless and linear. It doesn't snap to attention like the SVT, but it certainly capable of moving the troops out in a hurry. Passing and accelerating, even for sheer enjoyment of speed, is effortless. The supercharger howl is audible, but not overbearing. The attendant tailpipe rumble is both soothing and stirring depending on the pace. Braking is every bit as linear as power delivery. The pedal has a firm feel and none of the grabbiness found in some modified trucks.
With a limited edition package price in the neighborhood of $55K, the Foose offers a slick and stylish ride for pickup guys/gals who can't get enough of street-pounding performance.